EE 30 Under 30

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Class photo of 2022 EE 30 Under 30 cohort

Meet the Class of 2022!

NAAEE is thrilled to announce the EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2022! This year's awardees range in age from 15 to 30, and include social entrepreneurs, artists, journalists, researchers, activists, and educators from 19 countries. From teaching ecological citizenship in the Philippines to fostering ocean stewardship with virtual reality in the United States to creating student-run kitchen gardens in Kenya, their collective work reaches more than 360,000 people each year.

These exceptional young leaders will join the global EE 30 Under 30 community of transformative leaders, expanding their impact and inspiring and mentoring the next generation of sustainability leaders with their unique and passionate commitment to meaningful change.

Learn more about the 2022 class and their amazing work below!

Read the press release

About EE 30 Under 30

Since 2016, NAAEE's EE 30 Under 30 program has recognized 210 individuals from 42 countries who are making a difference through environmental education. To address today’s complex challenges, we need a diversity of perspectives, skills, and experiences. EE 30 Under 30 celebrates the unique and passionate leadership of talented young leaders around the world and gives them a professional boost to increase their impact. Each year our awardees join a growing alumni network of inspiring environmental education leaders and receive ongoing opportunities to network, grow professionally, and promote their work.

For questions or more information, contact Nina Hamilton at nina@naaee.org.

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EE 30 Under 30 celebrates the unique and passionate leadership of talented young leaders around the world and gives them a professional boost to increase their impact.

EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2022

John Leo Algo

John Leo Algo

Deputy Executive Director for Programs and Campaigns, LLS

Age: 28

Philippines

JL (he/him) advocates for inclusive and innovative climate and environmental education as the foundation on which to build the road to sustainable development.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

Since being trained as a Climate Reality Leader in 2016, I have delivered more than 100 talks and written more than 200 news articles and op-eds on various climate and environmental issues, with the ultimate goal of awareness-raising and education. I have delivered these talks to thousands around the world from different sectors, especially youth. My organization Living Laudato Si' Philippines (LLS) has integrated the principles of Pope Francis’ Encyclical #LS211 into our campaigns and programs, always…

Hazel Araujo

Hazel Araujo

Marine and Coastal Education Coordinator, Semillas del Océano

Age: 27

Guatemala

Hazel (she/her) is an ocean literacy and climate justice advocate who empowers young leaders to join her as ocean stewards through E-STEM, art, and reconnecting with nature.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

In Guatemala, there is a saying that we "live with our backs to the sea.” Most people don't realize the connection we have every day with the ocean. I aim to highlight this problem and work towards taking the first and most crucial step: start talking about the ocean!

As the education coordinator of Semillas del Océano, I've been an advocate for ocean literacy to more than 1,000 people, including children and youth of coastal communities in Guatemala. I've also created an ocean conservation leadership program, The Ocean Ambassadors. Since 2020, more than 100…

Harrison Ashangwa

Harrison Ashangwa

Executive Director, International Student Environmental Coalition

Age: 27

Cameroon

Harris (he/him) is an environmental engineer, consultant, and advocate empowering young people to lead action for climate and environmental justice. 

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I am the executive director of the International Student Environmental Coalition, where we are giving young people the organizational capacity, resources, and leadership skills to engage in grassroots movements for climate and environmental justice in their communities and countries. In over 30+ countries, the young people we empower are using environmental education, advocacy, and grassroots initiatives to champion climate and environmental justice.

In Cameroon, the International Student Environmental Coalition uses environmental education to empower and educate young people and communities about climate change with local mitigation and…

Jack Baker

Jack Baker

Creator and Host, Pangolin: The Conservation Podcast

Age: 25

United Kingdom

Jack (he/him) is the creator of Pangolin: The Conservation Podcast, a show which celebrates the stories of underappreciated species and amplifies the voices of underrepresented groups.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 
In March of 2020, I found myself at an impasse. After having worked with education teams at zoos and aquariums, suddenly having no one to share my love of nature with was crushing, especially while witnessing conservation projects suffer so greatly. Therefore, when the inspiration hit to produce my own podcast, I dove in and Pangolin: The Conservation Podcast was born. While the series initially focused on the plight of the pangolin, the show has now grown into a celebration of all underappreciated members of the natural world! 

Valeria  Cañedo Montaño

Valeria Cañedo Montaño

Vice President, Collaboration Center for Science and Culture

Age: 26

Mexico

Valeria (she/her) empowers young professionals and students to get involved in conservation and become the next generation of environmental leaders.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.

Being a young conservationist in Mexico has been a bit difficult—there is no access to government funding until you hold a master’s degree or a PhD. But that never stopped me from trying to make a difference. I have been developing conservation and environmental education projects since I was 19 years old, and have been one of the youngest members of the Monarch Butterfly International Monitoring Network, representing northwest Mexico. That was one of the achievements that I’m most proud of. After that, everything started to change: my team and I started to get to know a lot of experts from different areas, which allowed us to increase our knowledge and create better projects that could…

Nicolás Chesta

Nicolás Chesta

Regional Coordinator, EarthEcho International

Age: 22

Chile

Nicolás (he/him) mobilizes budding conservation leaders through a community-based educational approach, equipping youth with the tools they need to preserve their local bodies of water.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

Education is key to building more sustainable and equitable communities. In fact, all of my environmental work has been done through education, using all the tools I have learned at international environmental organizations to improve my community. As an example, I have done several water conservation sessions, with a focus on educating youth, in different schools in my city. I have led massive beach cleanups that engaged local politicians, and also supported the work of environmental nonprofits in their planning for lasting projects. On the other hand, I have amplified the opportunities available to young leaders from…

Iman Ebrahimi

Iman Ebrahimi

CEO, AvayeBoom Bird Conservation Society

Age: 28

Iran

Iman (he/him) is the founder of AvayeBoom Society and implements bird-watching training programs to connect thousands of people with wildlife.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

I believe that people try to maintain things with which they have an emotional connection. These connections are built through education and experiences. I educate people about birds and encourage them to use their new knowledge to find birds and enjoy watching them, so that they can have beautiful memories of birds. This leads to an emotional connection, which in turn can make them feel a sense of deep responsibility for the conservation of nature and the environment. Besides its effects on nature, such an emotional bond between people and birds can help improve people's mental health and their quality of life.

As the leader of the…

Charles Emogor

Charles Emogor

Founder, Pangolino

Age: 27

Nigeria

Charles (he/him) is a science communicator who fosters public interest in pangolins and their conservation.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I founded a nonprofit called Pangolino to foster public and institutional support for pangolin conservation. Pangolino uses art to communicate the science of pangolin conservation and actively engages the public in awareness-raising campaigns.

I also communicate the science of my research to inform better policies for pangolin conservation. For example, I led a piece of research to estimate the number of pangolins involved in Nigeria-linked pangolin scale seizures and then developed a scale converter to make the findings accessible to policymakers, including the Nigeria Customs Service.

In addition to…

Raj Fadadu

Raj Fadadu

Medical Student & Environmental Health Advocate, UCSF

Age: 25

United States

Raj (he/him) is an environmental health leader who implements climate and health education for patients, health professional students, and faculty to promote public health and sustainability.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

As the Student Lead for the Wildfire Education Project for the new University of California Center for Climate, Health, and Equity, I have created an online wildfire education hub for patients and providers. Within this resource, I have designed evidence-based infographics on wildfire smoke, health risks, and mitigation strategies—some of the first patient-facing educational materials on these topics. These resources will be shared broadly across the 10 University of California campuses and can be easily accessed by healthcare…

Lindsay French

Lindsay French

Senior Education Manager, Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Age: 30

United States

Lindsay (she/her) is a marine scientist and environmental educator leading efforts to instill ocean stewardship and build positive connections with marine ecosystems.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 
My current work at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) allows me to develop unique and accessible resources needed to instill ocean stewardship and foster positive connections with the ocean and its marine life. Research shows that environmental stewardship is highly influenced by positive experiences in and with the outdoors. Experiences with marine environments in particular, however, are highly dependent on geographic region, access to transportation, and affordability of programs. To remove these barriers in accessing quality marine science education, I conceptualized and…

Brian Gomez

Brian Gomez

Researcher, DeJGLLC

Age: 26

United States

Brian (he/him) supports diverse youth with the infrastructure they need to lead and drive the shift to a sustainable world.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

My experiences have shown me deep inequities in communities and the challenges that exist for people to advocate for a sustainable world. I didn’t learn about the pollution in my own community until I gained an education about these issues, which is an experience I describe in poetry. The first barrier I saw was around language, specifically Spanish language resources. I started translation and education in Spanish first as a docent at Shedd Aquarium, then at The Plant, a farm in Chicago, and finally at the…

Iyeshima  Harris

Iyeshima Harris

Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Green Guerillas

Age: 26

United States

Iye (she/her) is a food justice advocate who creates spaces for youth leaders to learn about food, health, and environmental sustainability and ensures that youth voices are heard in the food justice movement.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

Currently, I am the co-director at East New York Farms and director of youth and community engagement at Green Guerillas. At Green Guerillas, I co-founded the Youth Empowerment Pipeline. The program was designed for youth interns, ages 17–21 years old, that enjoy their work in food justice but have no program to harness their skills and provide them with opportunities to grow in the field. This program allows for youth to work closely…

Kosisochukwu  Ifeji

Kosisochukwu Ifeji

Student and Advocate

Age: 18

United States

Kosi (she/they) advocates for climate education through state legislation in Maine.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

My environmental education work has been focused on advocating for climate change education in Maine schools, specifically through legislation. The group consists of youth (ages 15–25), educators (both formal and nonformal), and other adult partners who are committed to promoting climate change education.

My main project has been helping to write and advocate for “Maine Legislative Document 1902: A Resolve to Encourage Climate Education In Maine Public Schools.” In 2020, the Maine governor’s office created a climate action plan for the state. While language about climate education was a part of that plan, there had not been any legislation about climate education since the plan was passed. As a co-chair of…

Ghislain  Irakoze

Ghislain Irakoze

Chief Curator, Kigali Green Gallery

Age: 22

Rwanda

Ghislain (he/him) is an environmental advocate leveraging art to spearhead youth-led environmental and sustainability awareness and education.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I founded Kigali Green Gallery (KGG), a sustainability art centre that is leveraging art to spearhead environmental education in Rwanda. KGG aspires to reconnect Africa with extinct and endangered species, artistically counting the extinction and endangered stories. Using eco-friendly materials (canvas and boards) made from recycled banana trunks, KGG tells the stories of 100 extinct and endangered African animal or plant species. Founded by young people, KGG is youth-centered. We involved 10 young artists in residency to develop 100 paintings while promoting environmentally sustainable artistic design. One…

Shreya K.C.

Shreya K.C.

Campaign Coordinator, Mock COP and YOUNGO

Age: 24

Nepal

Shreya (she/her) is a passionate climate justice activist from Nepal spreading awareness, advocating policies, and taking action for the climate. 

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

I believe in the potential of education in creating a new generation of changemakers to build a fair and sustainable future for everyone. Standing on this belief, I taught science and environment in a local school for two years. I formed a green club to engage children in environmental campaigns. I have reached out to students of 60+ schools and colleges to educate them on the environment, and climate crisis. As a team leader of the youth-led volunteer network Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA), in 2019-21, I have been able to directly work with and empower 15,000+ young people. Being a face of the network, I led the…

Renata Koch Alvarenga

Renata Koch Alvarenga

Founder and Director, EmpoderaClima

Age: 25

Brazil

Renata (she/her) is a youth, gender, and climate justice advocate from Brazil empowering young women from the Global South to occupy climate decision-making spaces.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

My climate activism started when I was 18 years old, and I soon had the incredible opportunity to attend COP21 and watch the negotiations of the Paris Agreement. This experience inspired me to create the multilingual initiative EmpoderaClima a few years later to raise awareness of women's empowerment in climate decision-making spaces and advocate for girls' education for climate action. I had not seen gender equality in the participation or negotiations at the COPs, let alone an intersectional and intergenerational perspective in the climate debates.

EmpoderaClima started as a database with original and curated…

Musa Kondeh

Musa Kondeh

Co-founder and Programs Coordinator, Ikon Initiative

Age: 25

Sierra Leone

Musa (he/him) mobilizes young people and local communities, activating positive change for sustainable livelihoods.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

My environmental education project is called “The Community Audiovisual Sensitization for Environmental Protection.” It’s geared towards mobilizing the local population to show them how their actions have negatively impacted their communities through harmful traditional farming and mining activities that have exposed the environment to climate hazards. I aim to create sensitization documentaries about the degraded environments in four climate change-affected communities in Kono district and Eastern Sierra Leone. I train students to act in dramas that will increase awareness about sustainable environmental practices. I have…

Rae Landriau

Rae Landriau

Founder and CEO, Create Change Collective

Age: 22

Canada

Rae (they/them) is a passionate environmentalist and climate advocate who fosters community-driven change through civic engagement projects centered on environmental education and action!

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

People can’t act on issues they don’t know about. Climate justice, environmental justice, and environmental education are all interconnected and to address them we first need to know more about them. When we identify an issue and learn about it, then we can create solutions for addressing it. This is where education is vital. 

I had always seen environmental organizations focused on one main cause for example ocean conservation, fast fashion, etc., but I had yet to run into any organization which showcased all these topics and more. So, one day I decided…

Laurence Lloyd Lumagbas

Laurence Lloyd Lumagbas

Co-Founder and President, Green Impact Global

Age: 29

Philippines

Laurence (he/him) is a climate action advocate and sustainability practitioner who gives citizens, communities, and corporations the tools they need to contribute to environmental preservation and regeneration.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I am the co-founder of Green Impact Global, a climate action movement that aims to improve environmental literacy, revitalize forests, and reduce carbon footprints. In building more sustainable and equitable communities, we have engaged and educated a variety of stakeholders through different approaches such as learning sessions, webinars, stakeholder consultations, climate change hackathons, volunteer activities, and social media campaigns. Furthermore, through Green Impact’s Carbon Sequestration Program, we have partnered with local…

Eva Makandi

Eva Makandi

Founder and Programs Coordinator, Light On A Hill

Age: 28

Kenya

Kandi (she/her) is a passionate community organizer facilitating sustainable development and ecological restoration through mentorship and environmental education.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

Through my organization, Light On A Hill (LOAH) Kenya, I have worked closely with one local school in my community, with mainly children aged 5–13 years, for the past two years advocating for environmental conservation and restoration. I use a basic approach focused on storytelling, art, experience sharing, and practical learning. Through storytelling, I share stories from my childhood, about the environment I grew up knowing and how different it has become today. I also invite older community members to join us, most notably one man we partner with who is 93 years old. He shares how he has seen the…

Reekelitsoe Molapo

Reekelitsoe Molapo

Co-Founder and Director, Conservation Music Lesotho

Age: 28

Lesotho

Rex (she/her) is an environmental activist confronting environmental and humanitarian disasters through the catalytic power of music.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I use education to build more sustainable and equitable communities by incorporating the education for sustainable development (ESD) approach in my organization’s programs. I also believe in the catalytic power of music to transform minds, educate, and inspire action, as it crosses all boundaries, cultures, and ideas. I am a firm believer in employing creative and innovative approaches to solving the world’s current problems and that is what I have been doing for the past few years, promoting environmental education through music. My environmental education work, through …

Rosa Na

Rosa Na

Education Program Manager

Age: 28

Canada

Rosa (she/her) is an education professional dedicated to creating and delivering impactful programming with a focus on social and environmental sustainability and reconciliation.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned during my time as program manager at Natural Curiosity (NC), a Canadian organization that advocates for the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in environmental and all education, is that education is more about the process of asking the right questions than it is about finding the “right answer.” In 2018, NC published its 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry, which is a groundbreaking rewrite of the first edition that had lacked the recognition of Indigenous…

Tobias Odhacha

Tobias Odhacha

Wildlife Warriors Field Lab Camp Manager, WildlifeDirect

Age: 29

Kenya

Tobias (he/him) inspires young people in Kenya and beyond to develop an appreciation for biodiversity and environmental protection through citizen science.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I believe it’s crucial to educate the next environmental stewards of our planet. As WildlifeDirect’s Wildlife Warriors Kids Field Lab Camp Manager, I have involved children and university students in citizen science activities and nature journaling where they can explore, discover, and contribute to science, while also working alongside scientists. I’ve also organized field excursions and camping expeditions for students who get to learn and gain inspiration from researchers working to protect species. The children I have interacted with continue to promote nature-positive…

Pauline Owiti

Pauline Owiti

Co-Founder, The Polly Foundation

Age: 25

Kenya

Pauline (she/her) is a sustainability advocate, leading the transition to a healthier, more sustainable world for people, nature, and the planet through promoting and implementing ecosystem restoration initiatives.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

Thanks to my initiative, which is at the forefront of environmental promotion in Kenya, I have been able to work with both young people in institutions and local communities to raise awareness of the need for environmental protection and to start activities that promote environmental protection.

I spearhead environmental education and initiatives in the local community and schools. In schools, my focus is on creating student-run kitchen gardens and school forests. After that, I enhance students' capacity by providing them with a foundation in environmental education, enabling them to be…

Taimoor Siddiqui

Taimoor Siddiqui

Founder/CEO, Project Clean-Green

Age: 25

Pakistan

Through transformative climate education, Taimoor (he/him) engages young people to step forward in building sustainable and resilient communities.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

For a period of six years, I have been working and volunteering for the promotion of sustainable development goals in Pakistan. Through transformative climate education, I have been sensitizing young people in schools, colleges, universities, and in a wide range of rural and urban communities. From in-person training to online webinars, and from community meetings to focus group discussions, I have used every method to transfer this core message of environmental education: “Care for your environment. Conserve it ethically.” Through this approach, I have sensitized and engaged more than 20,000 people and have created hundreds of local climate action leaders…

Rosalind Skillen

Rosalind Skillen

Outreach Officer, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Age: 24

United Kingdom

Rosalind (she/her) is a youth climate activist with a strong interest in community-led climate action and environmental policy.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

Through my climate activism and community engagement, I want to help people turn environmental knowledge into action. I am interested in bridging the gap between environmental education and participation and equipping people with the knowledge and tools to adopt pro-environmental behaviour.
 
In my role at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, I work with community groups to design and develop climate action plans. This is the first iteration of climate action plans in Northern Ireland, and the plans provide a framework for groups to implement practical, place-based…

Ajani Stella

Ajani Stella

President and Founder, Kids Fight Climate Change

Age: 15

United States

Ajani (he/him) energizes young changemakers by creating accessible climate education that empowers young people to take individual and collective action.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

My climate efforts have grown to focus primarily on youth climate education through the nonprofit I founded, Kids Fight Climate Change. Built and led entirely by young people, our goal is to make learning about climate change easy and accessible. Our website serves as a unique online learning platform that is continuously updated and upgraded. While most organizations focus entirely on in-person learning, our asynchronous model provides more accessible education tailored specifically to young people, creating resources that don’t exist elsewhere. I also conduct in-person and online school…

Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka

Sabrina Suluai-Mahuka

Founder, Finafinau

Age: 30

American Samoa

Sabrina (she/her) emboldens young Pacific islanders to be environmental advocates to save our ocean, protect our land, and empower our people.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

My goal is to provide opportunities that embody the concept of place-based learning and encompass lessons that foster the importance of keeping the environment healthy. I aim to provide engaging activities catered to environmental protection such as: conducting coast and watershed clean ups, producing radio ads and infomercials for environmental advocacy, creating and maintaining community green spaces, and making compost. With these lessons and outdoor activities, the youth have a firsthand account of the effects pollution has on our land and our ocean. These extended lessons have empowered them with the knowledge that it is our job to make a change by…

Gabby Tan

Gabby Tan

Student, Stanford University

Age: 21

Malaysia

Gabby (she/her) works to further sustainable development and inspire action and policy through research and education.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I've dedicated the past few years to working on a variety of education and sustainable development initiatives. Previously, I've led climate initiatives as a youth councilor, volunteered with the Teach the Future team to launch a climate education bill in the UK Parliament, written about climate education and action in various publications, and helped spread environmental education resources and programs in Malaysia as a former World Oceans Day youth advisor and Global Schools ambassador. In 2020, I joined Regeneration as a research fellow,…

明峯 Ming-Feng 李 Lee

明峯 Ming-Feng 李 Lee

Founder, Youth Volunteer Service for Eco-Friendship

Age: 28

Taiwan

Ming-Feng Lee (he/him), a youth leader from Taiwan, has been mobilizing young volunteers to lead environmental education initiatives for 20 years.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

I have led environmental education initiatives for 20 years. When I was 15, I established a cross-school, cross-regional, and cross-age youth service team in Taiwan: the Youth Volunteer Service for Eco-Friendship. Over the past 12 years, I have led more than 4,000 young people to care for the environment and held social welfare events for more than 2,800 children and parents. I am committed to environmental education and have been recognized by the President of Taiwan and the media seven times.

I also work with governments and NGOs to promote environmental education. I assisted my local government in recruiting young volunteers for environmental…